Grant given to help area youth tennis

Published 2:01 am Monday, February 2, 2015

NATCHEZ — Youth tennis in Natchez has received a boost.

The Southern Tennis Association has granted Duncan Park tennis $500 dollars to go towards helping youth in the area pursue the sport.

“We received a grant to upgrade our ten-and-under program,” said Henry Harris, leads Duncan Park tennis. “The city will match that, and hopefully, we can find some more people to donate money. We really want to fix up the program.”

Email newsletter signup

Harris is hoping that the money will help offset the cost of racquets and also help provide racquets for kids to borrow.

“With some kids we train, they can’t afford racquets,” Harris said. “So hopefully, we will have racquets for them to take off and play with.”

The 10-and-under league is fairly new for the United States Tennis Association, but Harris hopes that it will continue to grow.

“UTSA is focused on getting kids playing at a young age,” Harris said. “And in Natchez, there isn’t much to do, so we’ve been grabbing them for a long time.”

Harris and the program have graduated more than 400 kids who have a 98.5 percent graduation rate from college.

“Yes, indeed, I’m proud,” Harris said. “I’m starting to get the kids’ kids now. Now, I’m looking over my shoulder for someone younger to come and take it and run with it.”

Duncan Park will also be playing host to college tennis this year as they welcome Alcorn State for home matches.

“Some of the kids played here that are in college, so it is nice to have them come back,” Harris said. “It is nice to have our kids see what they have going on if they are able to play college tennis.”